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New study reveals ‘seismic shift’ in loyalty leadership

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1st Nov 2012
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Apple has once again claimed the top spot in a brand loyalty survey, fending off competition from Amazon, Samsung, YouTube and Twitter.

Brand Keys’ 16th annual survey asked nearly 50,000 US consumers to rate nearly 600 brands across 83 categories to find the top 100 and saw a battle between the giants Apple and Amazon for the top four spots. Hot on the heels of Apple’s first spot for tablets was Amazon with its tablet portfolio.

Apple re-emerged to take third place for its smartphone with Amazon chasing behind in fourth place for its online retail business.

According to Robert Passikoff, Brand Keys; founder and president, the brands that scored highest did so because of the high levels of engagement that consumers show, alongside what they deliver versus consumers’ expectations.

The top-10 Brand Keys loyalty leaders rank as follows:

  1. Apple: tablets
  2. Amazon: tablets
  3. Apple: smartphone
  4. Amazon: on-line retail
  5. Apple: computer
  6. Samsung: tablet
  7. Call of Duty: major league gaming
  8. Samsung: cellphone
  9. Halo: major league gaming
  10. Twitter: social networks

Passikoff said: “In 16 years aggregating brand loyalty leaders, this is the first time we’ve seen such a seismic shift in loyalty leadership in terms of new categories and brands making their appearance in the top-100. Brand loyalty has always been primarily driven by emotional engagement, and the rankings this year make it crystal clear that connection is everything.”

Brands that showed the greatest loyalty gains this year include Starbucks (+55) Ford (+47)
Samsung smartphones (+30) and Costco (+24), whilst Netflix (-69), Bing (-60), Blackberry (-40) and
Flickr (-29) fell most.

Passikoff added: “Some brands suffered losses because of the economy as consumers shifted to less expensive brands that still held some degree of meaning. Some shifts are due to the creation and adoption of new categories that better meet – or even exceed – customer expectations. But brands that understand that real emotional connections can serve as a surrogate for added-value will always top the list – no matter the state of the economy.”

Familiar to taking the top spot, Apple recently defended its title as customer loyalty champion in the NPS rankings and took the crown ClickFox’s customer loyalty rankings.

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